Let’s put some game tables in downtown Northfield

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I was struck by the popularity of game tables in New York City’s parks when I visited there last week. People gather around the tables to watch some of the games, too. Others use the tables as a place to meet and eat. The benches on either side of the tables have backs on them, making them more comfortable for sitting than picnic tables.

I’d like to see the Streetscape Task Force spend some of its remaining money to put game tables with benches in downtown along River Walk, the Sesqui Plaza, and maybe Bridge Square.


  1. Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago, me and Obama’s stomping grounds, has a long tradition of chess and checkers. Even in the winter, you will often see the die hard players bundled up with big cup of steaming coffee or whatever and intently focused on the game. It adds much to the enjoyment of community.

    July 22, 2012
  2. kiffi summa said:

    10-12 years ago the NDDC had a subcommittee called “the Action Squad”. That group recommended game tables along the Riverwalk , but at that time there was no Streetscape Task Force to allocate $$, and the “City” was not buying the idea.

    Howard Merriam was the Director of Parks and Open Lands (or whatever his title was) and he was all for it, but there didn’t seem to be any funding source.

    Now there’s a SSTF expenditure that I believe you could get behind, David Ludescher … right?

    July 22, 2012
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Ooooh, perfect, Kiffi! Yes, David Ludescher, assistant chess coach at Northfield High School (blog post & photos here), backing the expenditure of Streetscape Task Force money for chess tables.

    How about it, David?

    July 23, 2012
  4. David Ludescher said:

    How much does it cost?

    July 23, 2012
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    David, the New York City parks type concrete tables and benches can be seen here.

    Those are retail prices.

    July 23, 2012
  6. David Ludescher said:


    Ouch! Too expensive.

    July 23, 2012
  7. Curt Benson said:

    David and Griff, one could purchase (almost) seven tables with fourteen stools for the price of the recently completed “sidewalk poetry” project which, as near as I can tell, has annoyed people vs delighted people at a ratio of about one bajillion to one.

    Just saying……

    July 23, 2012
  8. Robert Palmquist said:

    Totally like this idea Griff. Here’s an off-the-wall idea for getting game boards in town — during the “Defeat of Jesse James Gang” days we could use chalk to layout a chessboard on Division Street and have people stand in as the chess pieces. I saw this in Germany some time ago, people had fun with it.

    July 23, 2012
  9. Arlen Malecha said:

    I think the idea of some game tables in bridge square, along the river walk and/or in the plaza area would be great. Perhaps some local cement masons would have an idea on how to build these. Maybe it would be a good prject for a Boy Scout looking for an Eagle Scout project.

    July 23, 2012
  10. Mary Rossing said:

    Robert, I did a human chess game back in 2007 for Harry Potter night. It was held, planned, run, and sponsored by Present Perfect, along with chemistry experiments and quidich races. I believe that a young Ludescher was one of the chess masters calling the moves with a bull horn. Griff has pictures… that seemed to be the appropriate audience for such an event and very well received.

    July 24, 2012
  11. Surely, there are some local craftspeople who can figure out something less expensive. Everyone is against outsourcing jobs, but no one wants made in the USA right here right now…it’s totally doable. If I was well, I’d do it myself. Come one. Cement costs little. Wooden frames cost little compared to buying retail. Here, this will get someone started; http://www.ehow.com/how_8317982_inexpensive-way-make-outdoor-chessboard.html

    July 25, 2012
  12. Robert Palmquist said:

    Should we start a “new tradition” of human chess to be held during the Defeat of Jesse et. al. Days? A new street event to be held between the raid reinactments.

    July 25, 2012
  13. Phil Poyner said:

    Is this the point at which I’m supposed to run into the room, yell “NERDS!!” at the top of my voice, and then run back out again? 😉

    Just checking…

    July 25, 2012

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